Stanley Cup Playoffs Buzz: Penguins can clinch with win against Islanders

Here is a look at the NHL standings and everything else that could impact the playoff picture.

 
Stanley Cup Playoffs clinching scenarios for Tuesday:

Eastern Conference

The Tampa Bay Lightning will clinch a playoff berth if:

They defeat the Dallas Stars (9:30 p.m. ET; ESPN, TVAS, NHL LIVE) in any fashion

Or if they get one point against the Stars and the Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the New York Islanders (7:30 p.m. ET; MSG +, ATTSN-PT, ESPN+, NHL LIVE) in any fashion

Or if the Penguins defeat the Islanders in regulation

The Boston Bruins will clinch a playoff berth if:

They defeat the St. Louis Blues (7 p.m. ET; SNP, TVAS, NESN, BSMWX, ESPN+, NHL LIVE) in any fashion and the Penguins defeat the Islanders in any fashion

Or if they get one point against the Blues and the Penguins defeat the Islanders in regulation

The Penguins will clinch a playoff berth if:

They defeat the Islanders in regulation

 
On Tap

There are 14 games on the NHL schedule Tuesday, 12 with playoff implications.

St. Louis Blues at Boston Bruins (7 p.m. ET; SNP, TVAS, NESN, BSMWX, NHL LIVE)

The Blues have won five straight games to tie the Minnesota Wild for second in the Central Division. St. Louis leads the fourth-place Nashville Predators by seven points. The Bruins, who hold the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference, are one point behind the Tampa Bay Lightning for third in the Atlantic Division. The Bruins, who have lost two of their past three games, are five points ahead of the Washington Capitals, who hold the second wild card. 

Buffalo Sabres at Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m. ET; TSN4, MSG-B, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Maple Leafs, who are 7-0-1 in their past eight, clinched a playoff berth Saturday and are second in the Atlantic, eight points behind the first-place Florida Panthers and four points ahead of the third-place Lightning. Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews leads the NHL with 58 goals. He has multiple goals in each of his past two games and 51 goals in his past 50. The Sabres have lost three in a row and are eliminated from playoff contention.

Anaheim Ducks at Florida Panthers (7 p.m. ET; BSFL, BSSC, BSSD, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Panthers have won seven straight games and 10 of their past 11. They are first in the Atlantic, eight points ahead of the Maple Leafs. Forward Jonathan Huberdeau has an 11-game point streak (eight goals, 12 assists) for the Panthers, who have clinched a playoff berth. The Ducks were eliminated from playoff contention Sunday.

Carolina Hurricanes at New York Rangers (7 p.m. ET; MSG, BSSO, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The top two teams in the Metropolitan Division face off Tuesday, with the first-place Hurricanes two points ahead of the second-place Rangers, who could tie for first with a regulation win. Carolina is 3-3-1 in its past seven games, with losses in three of five. New York is 7-1-1 in its past nine and six points ahead of the third-place Pittsburgh Penguins. The Hurricanes and Rangers have each clinched a playoff berth. 

Philadelphia Flyers at Washington Capitals (7 p.m. ET; ESPN, NHL LIVE)

The Capitals swept back-to-back games this weekend with wins against the Penguins on Saturday and Bruins on Sunday to edge closer to the Penguins in the Metropolitan. Washington is four points behind Pittsburgh for third in the division after winning three straight games and leads the New York Islanders by 15 points for the second wild card from the East. The Flyers have been eliminated from playoff contention.

New York Islanders at Pittsburgh Penguins (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, ATTSN-PT, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

Sidney Crosby scored his 1,400th point in his 1,100th NHL game and the Penguins earned a crucial win against the Nashville Predators, 3-2 in overtime, Sunday. The Penguins, who had lost four straight and were 2-6-1 in their previous nine, are third in the Metropolitan, six points behind the second-place Rangers and four ahead of the fourth-place Capitals. The Islanders, 5-2-0 in their past seven, are 15 points behind the Capitals for the second wild card from the East.

Edmonton Oilers at Minnesota Wild (8 p.m. ET; BSNX, BSWIX, SNW, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Wild are 8-0-1 in their past nine games at home, 10-1-2 in their past 13 overall, and defenseman Jared Spurgeon has a seven-game assist and point streak (one goal, seven assists), matching the longest streaks in team history by a defenseman in both categories. The Wild are tied with the Blues for second in the Central, 16 points behind the first-place Colorado Avalanche. The Oilers, 6-0-1 in their past seven, are second in the Pacific Division, seven points behind the first-place Calgary Flames and four ahead of the third-place Los Angeles Kings.

San Jose Sharks at Nashville Predators (8 p.m. ET; BSSO, NBCSCA, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Predators, who start a five-game homestand, hold the first wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference, one point ahead of the Dallas Stars. Nashville, 4-2-1 in its past seven, is seven points behind St. Louis and Minnesota for third in the Central. The Sharks are 19 points behind the Stars for the second wild card from the West and will be eliminated from playoff contention if they lose in regulation and the Kings defeat the Chicago Blackhawks in any fashion and either the Stars defeat the Lightning in any fashion or the Vegas Golden Knights get at least one point against the Vancouver Canucks.

Los Angeles Kings at Chicago Blackhawks (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCH, KCOP-13, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Kings have lost three straight, allowing the Wild to score six unanswered goals against them in a 6-3 loss Sunday, and are third in the Pacific, four points behind the second-place Oilers and two ahead of the fourth-place Golden Knights. The Blackhawks have been eliminated from playoff contention. 

Seattle Kraken at Calgary Flames (9 p.m. ET; SN360, ROOT-NW, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Flames and Kraken are playing their second straight game against each other, after Calgary won 4-1 on the road Saturday in the first home-and-home set in Seattle’s history. The win against the Kraken was the fourth straight for the Flames, who are first in the Pacific, seven points ahead of the second-place Oilers. Matty Beniers, the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, will make his NHL debut for the Kraken, who have been eliminated from playoff contention. 

Tampa Bay Lightning at Dallas Stars (9:30 p.m. ET; ESPN, TVAS, NHL LIVE)

The Lightning and Stars will face off in a rematch from the 2020 Stanley Cup Final. The Lightning are third in the Atlantic, four points behind the second-place Maple Leafs and one ahead of the fourth-place Bruins. The Lightning shut out the Sabres 5-0 on Sunday after they were 0-2-2 in their previous four games. The Stars hold the second wild card from the West, one point behind the Predators for the first wild card and two ahead of the Golden Knights. 

Vegas Golden Knights at Vancouver Canucks (10 p.m. ET; SNP, ATTSN-RM, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

Both the Golden Knights and Canucks are outside of the top eight teams in the West and need a win. The Golden Knights are two points behind the Stars for the second wild card and two behind the Kings for third in the Pacific. The Canucks are four points behind the Golden Knights. The Canucks defeated the Golden Knights 5-1 on Wednesday after the Golden Knights defeated the Canucks 3-2 in overtime April 3. Since that game the Canucks have won three straight, including the win against the Golden Knights. 

 
If playoffs started Tuesday

Here is a look at the matchups for the first round as they stand entering games Tuesday:

Eastern Conference

(1A) Florida Panthers vs. (WC2) Washington Capitals
(1M) Carolina Hurricanes vs. (WC1) Boston Bruins
(2A) Toronto Maple Leafs vs. (3A) Tampa Bay Lightning
(2M) New York Rangers vs. (3M) Pittsburgh Penguins

Western Conference

(1C) Colorado Avalanche vs. (WC2) Dallas Stars
(1P) Calgary Flames vs. (WC1) Nashville Predators
(2C) Minnesota Wild vs. (3C) St. Louis Blues
(2P) Edmonton Oilers vs. (3P) Los Angeles Kings

 
About last night

There was one game Monday, with playoff implications:

Winnipeg Jets 4, Montreal Canadiens 2: The Jets won their second straight after a four-game skid (0-3-1) and gained ground on the Dallas Stars for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference. Forwad Morgan Barron had a goal and an assist for Winnipeg, which passed the Vancouver Canucks in the West standings and is five points behind Dallas. The Canadiens, 1-3-0 in their past four, have been eliminated from playoff contention.

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